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  #1  
Old 10 Jun 11, 12:51
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USS Forrestal to be scrapped not sunk

Recycling, not reefs, in store for old aircraft carriers

By Miguel Llanos Reporter , msnbc.com msnbc.com, updated 4/7/2011 6:55:24 PM ET 2011-04-07T22:55:24

It's a heave-ho, U.S. Navy style. After several years during which turning old warships into artificial reefs was fashionable, four decommissioned aircraft carriers will instead be dismantled, and recycled, at shipyards.An environmental group that's been championing the shift said it makes sense: creating shipyard jobs in the U.S., instead of a potential toxic mess at sea.

"The Obama administration's new plan to recycle these four aircraft carriers appears to be a signal that the administration may be correcting long-standing misguided policies that not only squander resources, but American jobs as well," stated Colby Self of the Basel Action Network, a group that monitors global toxic issues and that last December issued a report critical of the artificial reefs.


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  #2  
Old 12 Jun 11, 17:33
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CVs (and other warships) are nice artificial reefs and long term source of income as turist atractions. Also toxic materials were removed before sinking ship.

So IMO this decision is wrong.
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Old 12 Jun 11, 18:15
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Are we becoming another Great Britain, in a hurry to get rid of our older warships? I would rather they be mothballed and put in storage. They might be repaired and put back in service in case of emergency. They might not be a match for a Nimitz, but they would be useful as aircraft transports and ASW. They might even be used to transport troops. Think of all the WW 2 ships we once had in mothballs. Some came in handy when Reagan wanted a larger Navy. If we don't use them in say 15 years, then scrap them.

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Old 12 Jun 11, 19:45
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Hi Richard

Well your certainly not becoming another GB, as the US has a great tradition of keeping some of its naval vessels. Sadly the UK and the RN have never been that sentimental.

Though these ships gave good long service I think any politician would find it hard to justify sepending X million $ on keeping these vessels in any semblance of longterm readiness in the current economic background.

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Old 12 Jun 11, 20:16
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Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
Are we becoming another Great Britain, in a hurry to get rid of our older warships? I would rather they be mothballed and put in storage. They might be repaired and put back in service in case of emergency. They might not be a match for a Nimitz, but they would be useful as aircraft transports and ASW. They might even be used to transport troops. Think of all the WW 2 ships we once had in mothballs. Some came in handy when Reagan wanted a larger Navy. If we don't use them in say 15 years, then scrap them.

Pruitt
WW2 ships were only forty-something years old in the mid-80's. The Forrestal is now 55 years old.
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Old 12 Jun 11, 20:33
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The difference being that WW 2 ships were built in a hurry and had corners cut. Peacetime built ships should last much longer. I remember we had a Destroyer Tender built in the 30's on duty for what over 70 years? Looking at the time it now takes to build a large aircraft carrier, we should not be so quick to get rid of the older ones. I remember when we had something like 16 carrier air groups. What are we down to now?

Pruitt
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Old 13 Jun 11, 08:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
The difference being that WW 2 ships were built in a hurry and had corners cut. Peacetime built ships should last much longer. I remember we had a Destroyer Tender built in the 30's on duty for what over 70 years? Looking at the time it now takes to build a large aircraft carrier, we should not be so quick to get rid of the older ones. I remember when we had something like 16 carrier air groups. What are we down to now?

Pruitt
Hi Richard

Reading around about these 4 carriers, it seems that most are just really hulks. Most of the ships have been stripped for spares years ago to keep others going. Where there have been campaigns to raise the money for them to become museum ships, the campaigns have come up short by several millions in some cases.

Though I understand the emotional facet it just doesn't stack up in financial or military terms.

Regards
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Old 13 Jun 11, 09:11
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Hi Richard

Reading around about these 4 carriers, it seems that most are just really hulks. Most of the ships have been stripped for spares years ago to keep others going. Where there have been campaigns to raise the money for them to become museum ships, the campaigns have come up short by several millions in some cases.

Though I understand the emotional facet it just doesn't stack up in financial or military terms.

Regards
I totally agree with the decision to scrap rather than sink these ships. It makes no economic sense to maintain these vessels for some future war. They are fifty plus years old and have been stripped of anything of value.
It makes far more sense to scrap them and sell off the metals to generate some immediate return for the taxpayers. The Oriskany was sunk as an artificial reef and while it does generate tourism, the bulk of the benefit goes to Florida , not the Federal treasury. The Defense department is looking for every dollar it can find .

Three of the decommissioned carriers (Ranger, Kitty Hawk and John F Kennedy) may join the other five carriers that have preserved as museum ships. They will probably be the last since the Navy recycles all nuclear ships.
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Old 13 Jun 11, 11:17
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The Oriskany was an Essex class carrier. I have no problems with it going. The others mentioned are modern built carriers even if a bit old. We also have an older carrier, the Enterprise, which will be an interesting disposal. The nuclear reactors and the low level radiation will probably keep it from being scrapped. I am unsure if there is a deep enough place in the ocean to sink her.

Left unsaid is we need a training carrier and a Navy Reserve carrier. It is a little too expensive to put a nuclear carrier down in Pensacola to fill these jobs. A bare bones Forrestal or Kitty Hawk for each job would do it better. In time of war they could be used for other purposes until the Navy builds more.

Pruitt
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Old 13 Jun 11, 21:25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
The Oriskany was an Essex class carrier. I have no problems with it going. The others mentioned are modern built carriers even if a bit old. We also have an older carrier, the Enterprise, which will be an interesting disposal. The nuclear reactors and the low level radiation will probably keep it from being scrapped. I am unsure if there is a deep enough place in the ocean to sink her.

Left unsaid is we need a training carrier and a Navy Reserve carrier. It is a little too expensive to put a nuclear carrier down in Pensacola to fill these jobs. A bare bones Forrestal or Kitty Hawk for each job would do it better. In time of war they could be used for other purposes until the Navy builds more.

Pruitt
Actually The Navy recycles all nuclear powered ships rather use them for target practice. They will cut the reactors out of the ship and bury them in concrete in Washington. The rest of the ship is scrapped. The Navy has allowed a nuclear submarine, the Nautilus, to be decommissioned to become a museum ship. We visited the sub a number of years ago in Connecticut and so far, we don't glow in the dark so it can be done.

I think the last training carrier was the Lexington. We may not really need a ship dedicated for that purpose.
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Old 13 Jun 11, 22:49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
The Oriskany was an Essex class carrier. I have no problems with it going. The others mentioned are modern built carriers even if a bit old. We also have an older carrier, the Enterprise, which will be an interesting disposal. The nuclear reactors and the low level radiation will probably keep it from being scrapped. I am unsure if there is a deep enough place in the ocean to sink her.

Left unsaid is we need a training carrier and a Navy Reserve carrier. It is a little too expensive to put a nuclear carrier down in Pensacola to fill these jobs. A bare bones Forrestal or Kitty Hawk for each job would do it better. In time of war they could be used for other purposes until the Navy builds more.

Pruitt
Pruitt, without trying to be insulting here, I think that you're suffering from the same syndrome that me and many others here are, also. It's called the "I remember when they were new and I'm still (kinda) young, so they can't be old" syndrome.
I'm 51 and I was even surprised when I looked up when the Forrestal was commissioned.
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Old 13 Jun 11, 23:04
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Why you are just a young pup! I am 57 and feel older. I am not saying they were not old. Several other navies across the world also had old aircraft carriers. What I am trying to get understood is we could have kept them in mothballs for 10 or 15 years in case we get in a war and needed them. We once had a large mothball fleet and maybe because of that, we never really needed them.

Also we used to take an aircraft carrier into port and SLEP them to get a few more useful years out of them. Since we aren't doing that any more we are working the few we have left harder. It takes too long to build a new aircraft carrier now. Battle damage to just a couple would cripple our ability to defend ourselves.

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Old 14 Jun 11, 00:01
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The problem lies not in keeping the ships around, but 1) the cost of keeping them around (updates, cadre crew, etc) and 2) shrinking economy means money has to be generated someplace to help pay for current ops. Personally I'd rather keep them around myself as museum ships, but the economy also doesn't allow for that. But nuclear ships can be museum ships.

First there was the USS Nautilus and then this ship.
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Old 17 Jun 11, 08:18
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Old 17 Jun 11, 11:14
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I am of two minds about the attempts to save naval ships. Certainly we cannot save them all and in these time of economic disaster, only the most historically significant ought to even be considered.

OTOH, I toured the USS Midway in San Diego this summer with my wife and son and it was one of the best experiences we have had in a long time. That there is a real value to saving some of these ships is unquestionable.
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